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China's AC352 helicopter completes function, reliability flight tests

Photo taken on Dec. 20, 2016 shows the AC352 civil helicopter during its maiden flight in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. (Xinhua/Li He)

BEIJING, May 28 (Xinhua) -- The AC352 medium multi-purpose helicopter has completed its function and reliability flight test phase, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced on Saturday.

The AC352 helicopter on Saturday completed its long-distance ferry flight test, the final test of this phase. All parts and equipment worked well, said AVIC, China's leading aircraft maker.

The new helicopter has now begun its countdown to certification, AVIC said.

This phase systematically tested the functions and reliability of all AC352 parts and equipment, then verified the model's compliance with airworthiness certification requirements.

During this phase, the AC352 undertook diverse flight tests, including long-distance day and night flights to test its performance in both environments. All parts and equipment worked normally during the tests, according to the developer.

The AC352 is a medium twin-engine multi-purpose civil helicopter jointly developed by AVIC and Airbus Helicopters. It can carry up to 16 passengers with a 7.5-tonne maximum take-off weight.

The new helicopter-model enriches the pedigree of China's civil helicopter family in the 7-tonne class and is of great importance for the country in enhancing the capabilities of its helicopter industry sector, AVIC said.

The AC352 successfully completed its maiden flight on Dec. 20, 2016, in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

It began its flight-test journey for airworthiness certification at the end of 2019.

The performance of the AC352 was fully verified during previous flight tests in high temperatures, low temperatures, sub-plateau environments and other complicated environments across the country, AVIC said. ■